Q. Is the BC/AD time thing man made? Between Malachi and Mark nothing was written. That’s about 485 years. Were there other prophets during that time? Would Jesus be the first prophet since the old testament, or would John the Baptist be the first?
A. The BC/AD method of reckoning time is a man made device and doesn’t conform to the actual time of the Lord’s birth. Luke 2:2 says Joseph and Mary were forced to go to Bethlehem during the time Quirinius (aka Cyrenius) was governor. Scholars believe he served two terms, one in 6-4 BC and the other in 6-9 AD. Jesus was born near the end of his first term. Since John had been born 6 months earlier, there had been no prophets from God for just over 400 years.
In Matt. 11:11-13 Jesus said that among those born of woman there was none greater than John, yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater then He. He was saying that John was not part of the Church. Then He said the Law and Prophets (Old Testament) prophesied until John. In effect this made John the last of the Old Testament prophets. John called himself a friend of the Bridegroom, implying he was not part of the Bride (John 3:29).
The last two verses of the Old testament tell of the coming of Elijah before the Day of the Lord. They say he would either restore harmony to Israel and bring about return to the ways of their fathers or else God would come and strike the land with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6).
In Matt. 17:11 Jesus said Elijah had come and the people rejected him. The disciples understood He was talking about John the Baptist. With the evidence of history we can see that this rejection plus the rejection of the Messiah caused the land to be cursed just as Malachi had prophesied.